National Eating Disorders Association
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5 Ways to Self-Care This 4th of July Weekend

Emma Giordano, Communications Intern

With the anticipation of celebrating Independence Day growing every day, people all across America seem to be getting ready, picking up paper plates and plastic cutlery, standing in long lines at the supermarket, or stocking up on red, white, and blue clothing to be extra patriotic this year. Among all the excitement of rejoicing in the independence of our country, we may be less attentive to our own needs and sometimes reject our personal cues to re-energize and uplift ourselves. As to not lose yourself in the wild holiday season, here are five ways you can self-care this July 4th weekend!

Tip #1: Make Plans That Work For YOU.

July 4th is often characterized by large parties with tons of people. For some, Independence day might be a great opportunity for you to catch up with old friends and family members and spend time together! For others, large gatherings can be intimidating and you may rather stay at home with a few close loved ones to just watch fireworks out the window. Both of these types of celebrations are valid! Do your best to stay within your personal guidelines and don’t overexert yourself in a situation where you aren’t comfortable. It’s totally okay to spend all day out partying, but it’s also okay to invite a few friends over and celebrate by relaxing!

Tip #2: Have Your Coping Strategies At The Ready.

Regardless of how you like to celebrate, the holidays can be a stressful time! It’s important to rely on the sources of comfort that can help level out your headspace. This may be having a phone or tablet with you to step away from the festivities and engage in some online pleasures, bringing a book to beach parties to wind down, or just surrounding yourself with loved ones that make you feel good. No matter what it is, don’t let anyone shame you for using your protective armor to help combat the day! 

Tip #3: Wear What Makes You Confident.

It’s hard to anticipate the weather when summer parties are often outdoors, but make sure what you are wearing is comfortable and an expression of you! Whether you want to paint your face to match the American flag or if you just want to keep it simple with a red top and blue shorts, don’t feel pressured to be anything but yourself. This is a holiday about celebrating freedom and gratitude for where we live, not about aesthetics. 

Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Break.

Even if you are surrounded by loved ones and people whose company you enjoy, social interaction can get over-stimulating no matter where you are. Don’t be afraid to retreat into the house, spend some extra time alone, or bow out of big activities and focus on getting yourself back on track. The 4th of July is a weekend-long celebration and you should have more than enough time to be social (to your desire) and also self-care.

Tip #5: Feel Free To Indulge!

It is the holidays, meaning you may have opportunities to do things you don’t normally do! That might be going somewhere special, doing fun new things, or even appreciating a certain type of food you don’t get to enjoy much outside of the summer celebrations. It’s okay to do things a bit differently than you typically do when surrounded by loved ones and having a good time. The 4th of July doesn’t last forever, so don’t hesitate to make the most of this weekend!

So whether you are excited for the upcoming festivities or totally nervous about the outcome, take a breath, focus on your goals for this weekend, and don’t forget to self-care. The holidays affect everyone differently so it is important to listen to what your personal needs are and how you can best enjoy this exciting time. Enjoy your Independence Day weekend, and God Bless America.

Emma Giordano is a 21-year-old New York-based psychology student aiming to become a mental health counselor. She is a YouTuber at youtube.com/emmmabooks who primarily talks about books but also utilizes her platform to encourage discussion about mental health.